Strong growth in exports and subdued imports produced a record
trade surplus estimated at $10 billion on a balance-of-payments basis.
Merchandise exports rose by 18.2%, a much stronger performance t...
other countries in Southeast Asia. Viet Nam became the world’s biggest
exporter of rice and coffee in 2012. Manufactured exports rose steeply,
reflecting the start of operations of foreign-invested factories making
mobile phones, computers, and other electronics. Customs data show the
proportion of high-tech products in total exports has climbed to 18% from
4% in the past decade (Figure 3.31.6).
Merchandise imports increased by 7.5% on sluggish domestic demand.
The trade surplus, coupled with tourism receipts and remittance inflows,
contributed to a current account surplus estimated at 6.4% of GDP, a
huge turnaround from 4 years earlier, when the current account recorded
a deficit of 11.9% of GDP. Together with higher capital inflows, these
developments helped rebuild foreign reserves to an estimated 2.6 months
of goods and services imports (Figure 3.31.7). FDI inflows rose by 11% to
an estimated $8.4 billion, medium and long-term loans by 19% to nearly
$4 billion, and portfolio investment by 36% to $2 billion.
Note: Merchandise exports.
Sources: United Nations Commodity Trade Statistics Database, General Statistical Office; ADB estimates.
Data exclude government foreign exchange deposits at the State Bank of Viet Nam and the foreign exchange counterpart of swap operations. Import data are on free-on-board basis.
State Bank of Viet Nam; International Monetary Fund; ADB estimates. -
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